How Fair Trade Is Helping Smallholder Coffee Farmers Succeed
Fair Trade USA is the leading fair trade certifying body in North America, operating globally alongside the European-based Fairtrade International. Colleen Anunu, Fair Trade USA’s Senior Manager of Supply Chain, reflects on some of fair trade’s achievements and challenges, with a focus on the coffee sector. She also explains how Fair Trade USA and Oikocredit are teaming up to reduce price risks for coffee farmers.
What has fair trade achieved for smallholder coffee farmers since its inception in the late 1990s?
Fair trade has been key to helping the many farmers who have limited access to resources invest in long-term quality and productivity and build resiliency in the face of global threats like climate change. According to Fair Trade USA’s assessment, coffee producers around the world benefited by about € 315 million (US$ 370 million) from fair trade’s minimum price and premium from 1998 to 2016. This has enabled them to strengthen their organizational capacity and democratic decision-making, train their members, promote financial literacy and female empowerment, and support community development projects.